The Safeguard Policies of the Asian Development Bank require the Bank to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts that may result from development projects. The Safeguard Policies apply to all ADB projects, whether it is a private sector or project loan.
The ADB has three safeguard policies:
Country Safeguards System
Involuntary Resettlement Policy (1995)
Indigenous Peoples Policy (1998)
Environment Policy (2002)
Involuntary Resettlement Policy
The main objective of the Involuntary Resettlement Policy is to ensure that those affected by development projects receive rehabilitation assistance to achieve at least the same level of well-being with the project as without it.
The policy binds the ADB to several resettlement principles. They are to avoid involuntary resettlement where possible; to minimize involuntary resettlement where population displacement is unavoidable; and ensure that displaced/affected people receive adequate assistance to restore their living conditions to at least the ‘pre-project’ level.
The policy indicates that for developing member countries (DMCs) to comply with the Policy fundamental structural changes in national land acquisition laws and payments of compensation for development-induced displacement.
Indigenous Peoples Policy
The Indigenous Peoples Policy applies regardless of whether DMCs have a pre-existing policy framework for indigenous peoples or ethnic minorities. The Indigenous Peoples Policy seeks to address the vulnerability and disadvantage indigenous peoples may experience in ADB projects.
It states that the ADB should engage directly with indigenous people. Projects should be planned and implemented with the informed consent of affected communities.
The Environment Policy states that negative environmental impacts of ADB projects should be evaluated and minimized. The public should be involved in the evaluation of environmental impacts. Environmental impact assessments should be conducted and disclosed to the general public.
The Environmental Policy contains five broad statements:
Environmental intervention as a pre-requisite for poverty reduction;
Mainstreaming environmental considerations in economic growth;
Encouraging regional cooperation to address critical environmental issues;
Building partnerships with other stakeholders around ‘specific’ environmental themes in DMCs; and